Stuff co.nz 1 April 2015
Child, Youth and Family (CYF) is set for a major overhaul, with Social Development Minister Anne Tolley admitting that the department charged with protecting New Zealand’s most vulnerable citizens “must do better”.
Tolley has announced the formation of a high-powered panel to lead the restructure, headed by senior public servant Paula Rebstock and joined by Police Commissioner Mike Bush.
Also on the panel are chief science adviser to the Ministry of Social Development Richie Poulton, former Maori Party chief of staff Helen Leahy and Duncan Dunlop, chief executive of Who Cares? Scotland, an independent advocacy charity for young people.
The panel will oversee the development and implementation of an operating model to modernise CYF and enhance its governance. It is expected to have a wide-ranging brief to consider all aspects of CYF operations.
“For the sake of vulnerable children, we must do better, and we need a very clear strategy that focuses on the needs of children, rather than the needs of the system,” Tolley said.
“New Zealand used to be a world leader in the field of child protection, but I believe we are now eight to 10 years behind in our thinking in some important areas, such as how we support children in state care.